Video Game Technology Used for Preventing Patient Falls | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Video Game Technology Used for Preventing Patient Falls

March 19, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Researchers at the University of Missouri are using video game technology to prevent falls among hospital patients.

In particular, they have looked at video-game motion-capture technology, which has been used for systems from Microsoft and Nintendo, as a way to monitor falls. The technology they've developed is embedded in a thin black box device. On one side, black glass covers sensors that pick up the movements of the patients in a hospital room. One sensor, a depth camera, measures the distances to objects in its view. A cord connects the black box to a small computer.

The system sends a grid pattern of infrared light into a room, and then examining how objects and persons in the room distort the pattern. The machine analyzes these distortions to create a 3-D map, showing a patient, their bed and tray table, and everything else in the room. If it detects a person on the floor, it reviews the preceding events as the person moved to the floor.

For the study, the researchers installed a motion-capture device in each of six patient rooms at University Hospital in Columbia, Mo., part of the MU Health System.  During the eight months of the study, they did not record any patient falls. However, stunt actors simulated 50 patient falls and provided more data for algorithm. They did see a reduction of falls in the six patient rooms during the study.

The researchers say that data captured on patient falls can help health professionals learn about risk factors for falls, which could help create more effective ways of preventing them. Between 700,000 and 1 million people each year fall in U.S. hospitals, the researchers say, citing an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Hospitals report.

"Since 2008, we've investigated ways to detect and prevent falls by older adults living in independent senior apartments," stated Marilyn Rantz, Ph.D., R.N., a leader of the MU research team and a professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the MU School of Medicine. "Because falls are a concern in hospitals, we thought much of what we learned regarding older people could apply to protecting hospital patients. Technology that quickly detects falls and alerts health professionals can improve patient care and help in the diagnosis of injuries."

The study, "Automated Fall Detection with Quality Improvement 'Rewind' to Reduce Falls in Hospital Rooms," recently appeared in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

Read the source article at University of Missouri

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Geisinger National Precision Health Hires Illumina Exec to Lead Business Development

Integrated health system Geisinger has hired a high-profile genetic counselor to head up business development for Geisinger National Precision Health, which was created to extend the Geisinger model on the national scene.

$30M VC Fund Launched to Spur Innovation in Cardiovascular Care

The American Heart Association, together with Philips and UPMC, has announced the launch of Cardeation Capital, a $30 million collaborative venture capital fund designed to spur healthcare innovation in heart disease and stroke care.

Epic Wins Labor Dispute in Closely Divided Supreme Court Decision

Epic Systems Corporation won a major labor-law ruling in the Supreme Court on Monday, centering around the extent of corporations’ right to force employees to sign arbitration agreements, and with a 5-4 ruling in its favor

Survey: Two-Thirds of Physician Practices Seeking Out Value-Based Care Consulting Firms

Most physician organizations are not prepared for the move to value-based care, and 95 percent CIOs of group practices and large clinics state they do not have the information technology or staff in-house needed to transform value-based care end-to-end, according to a recent Black Book Market Research.

Cumberland Consulting Buys LinkEHR, Provider of Epic Help Desk Services

Cumberland Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and services firm, has acquired LinkEHR, which provides remote application support, including Epic help desk services.

Population Health Tool that Provides City-Level Data Expands to 500 Cities

A data visualization tool that helps city officials understand the health status of their population, called the City Health Dashboard, has now expanded to 500 of the largest cities in the U.S., enabling local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.